Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball

"He's like Peyton Manning" | Brian O'Driscoll on ageless Sexton

Johnny Sexton as Ireland's Tom Brady.. we can see that.


"He's like Peyton Manning" | Brian O'Driscoll on ageless Sexton

Johnny Sexton is like an aged quarter-back who is getting better at picking apart teams, according to Brian O'Driscoll. 

Sexton delivered a masterclass performance for Leinster against Bath, in a 64-7 thumping in the Heineken Champions Cup at the weekend.

Despite that being his first start since Ireland's November series against New Zealand, the Irish captain looked as sharp as ever as we near Six Nations kick-off, something that will no doubt please head coach Andy Farrell.

While he may not have the body to compete in every game anymore, his game maturity is something we're going to see a lot more of in the latter stages of his career, according to Brian O'Driscoll.

"Is he going to be predominately an Ireland player, yes I think he is", O'Driscoll told Off The Ball.

"He is there to peak at certain times in the season and this is one of the main times, coming into the Six Nations. Then subsequently coming into the knockout stages of European rugby."

O'Driscoll acknowledges that Ireland will still need to manage Sexton's game time, but says they should capitalise on his re-found fitness.

"He's in great shape and he's saying he hasn't felt this good for a long time. You have to listen to the player too, if he felt he needed a break, he would take it."

"It does feel like he's getting better with time on the ball, the game is slowing down, the way he's maturing he's able to not panic"

"He's like an aged quarter-back, like Peyton Manning on Brady, or any of the greats. It feels like they're about to be caught and then all of a sudden at the last second, they're able to pick the pass and that's the one that completely unlocks the defence."

Ireland open their Six Nations campaign against holders Wales and despite the visitors coming to the Aviva as rank outsiders - O'Driscoll says you should never write the Welsh off when it comes to the Six Nations.

"They always deliver at Six Nations, irrespective of what's going on with the regions. You have to remember as well that before the last Six Nations [Wayne] Pivac's head was on the chopping block, they'd lost six in eight, a terrible record and then all of a sudden, come the last weekend, they'd be denied a grand slam."

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Brian O'Driscoll England Ireland Johnny Sexton Leinster Rugby Six Nations